Tuesday, May 3, 2011

What others are doing: Dutchess Interfiath Council, Inc.

"My hope is that, in the new century, religious communities of all kinds will adopt the language of human rights and be enabled to work together more effectively for social justice."
 (Rev. Gail A. Burger)


Dutchess Interfaith Council, Inc.



9 Vassar St.


Poughkeepsie, NY 12601


Tel. 914 471-7333


Organization:


Purposes: To deepen the spiritual forces of our community; to respect the uniqueness of each


congregation in its individual style of worship, culture and tradition; to focus the attention and


energies of the religious communities on urgent community problems; to lessen inter-group


tensions and promote reconciliation; to combat community deterioration; to eliminate prejudice


and discrimination; to coordinate and consolidate, where possible, existing efforts carried out by


member groups, with due respect for principles of autonomy and integrity; to provide the


framework and facilities for groups of congregations to band together for common projects or


purposes; to develop and/or operate service-oriented programs which will address unmet needs


in our community.


Year founded: 1972


Faiths represented on leadership group or Board: Christians (R.C. and Prot.) Jews (Cons., Ref. &


Orth.) Baha’i, Unitarian.


Significant population increases among minority faiths in our area during the past 30 years:


Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist.


Changing attitudes toward "other" faiths during this time: More openness to and curiosity about  the practices and theologies of other groups. Leadership participation by minorities has increased.


Program Areas. (*indicates area considered most effective.)


Dialogue/discussion groups


Education: workshops and distribution of materials:


Public events: concerts; worship or prayer


Advocacy or Information: hunger , economic justice


Inter-institutional relationships, community coalitions


Media: broadcast


Description of a recent interfaith activities: Interfaith Crop Walk for Hunger; Annual Music


Festival; Interfaith Thanksgiving Service; Projects for "Racial Unity, Beyond Tolerance,"


HIV/AIDS Ministry; Tours of Houses of Worship.


Outreach:


Most consistent participants or audience: Roman Catholic, Protestant Christians, Jews,


Unitarians, Baha’is.


Others occasional participants: Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists.


Would you like to reach: Our goal is to have included Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus as


members with a short time.


Participation by members of minority faiths has increased during the life of our organization.


Insights or concerns: "My hope is that, in the new century, religious communities of all kinds


will adopt the language of human rights and be enabled to work together more effectively for


social justice." (Rev. Gail A. Burger)

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